Espreso. Global

Ukraine's drone destroys Russian Solntsepek: how $500 tool breaks whole concept

7 December, 2023 Thursday
17:18

A video by the 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces shows how a cheap tactical-level weapon destroys a Russian TOS-1A Solntsepek

Defense Express reported the information.

The TOS-1A Solntsepek, a formidable weapon in Russia’s arsenal, has a critical flaw. Recently, Ukrainian FPV drones targeted and destroyed 4 Solntsepeks, revealing the flaw in the Russian concept.

A video from the 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade, named after the Black Cossacks, vividly illustrates how an economically accessible tactical-level weapon effortlessly obliterates a TOS-1A Solntsepek.

While the footage dates back to October, showcasing the destruction of four Solntsepek-s, it effectively exposes the flawed Russian approach in employing these systems.

The video underscores the exceptional coordination and collaboration among Ukrainian units. Russian troops’ Solntsepek is preemptively identified, with multiple drones closely tailing it. The prowess of the FPV drone operator is evident, skillfully targeting not only the primary objective but also the missile guides. This precision triggers the detonation of the entire ammunition, resulting in the annihilation of the Solntsepek and its crew.

Moreover, the inherent flaw lies in the conceptual design of Russian heavy flamethrower systems, which originated in the USSR with the deployment of the first TOS-1 Buratino in Afghanistan. The guidance system, detached from the tank, necessitates the vehicle to establish direct line of sight, measure range using a laser rangefinder, and feed the data into a ballistic computer governing the missile guide angles. This structural reliance on tanks led to the creation of the TOS-1.

In response to the initial loss of Solntsepeks, Russia attempted to enhance its defensive strategy by deploying them from concealed firing positions. However, the emergence of FPV drones, equipped with Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) capabilities, posed a formidable challenge. Some drone models boast a range exceeding 10 km, surpassing even the improved range of the TOS-1A Solntsepek missiles, which were extended from 6 to 10 km, as claimed.

Recognizing the vulnerability, Russia developed the TOS-2 Tosochka with a 15 km range, yet its laser rangefinder raises doubts about effective firing from concealed positions. Regardless, heavy flamethrower systems remain a high-threat target, prompting ongoing development to address these weaknesses.

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